Vets experience homelessness disproportionate to the general population. While they represent 7% of all US citizens, more than 13% of vets are homeless. Female vets make up the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.
They used to call it "shell shock." Today It is called P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Whatever its name, it is brokenness and suffering. The ravages of war can leave an individual with such depths of pain that a complete collapse of the spirit is often the byproduct. Nearly 30% of all vets who pass through the VA are treated for the symptoms of PTSD. It is highly likely that there are many others who go uncounted because they do not seek treatment, or are too incapacitated by their suffering to even know how to get help.
From The Grunts: Damned If They Kill, Damned If They Don't by David Wood:
"The pain that results from damage to a person’s moral foundation. In contrast to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which springs from fear, moral injury is a violation of what each of us considers right or wrong. The diagnosis of PTSD has been defined and officially endorsed since 1980 by the mental health community, and those suffering from it have earned broad public sympathy and understanding. Moral injury is not officially recognized by the Defense Department. But it is moral injury, not PTSD, that is increasingly acknowledged as the signature wound of this generation of veterans: a bruise on the soul, akin to grief or sorrow, with lasting impact on the individuals and on their families."
Many returning vets suffer physical injuries that challenge their capacity to function. The number of disabled veterans has jumped by 25 percent since 2001. Of the over 21 million vets in the US, 3.6 million -- more than 17% -- have what's called a "service connected disability."
Despite their dedicated service and sacrifices made for their country, returning vets experience unemployment at over 10% -- higher than the national average -- and many live at or near the poverty line. 30.2 percent of veterans ages 18 to 24 are unemployed and nearly a million vets age 18 to 64 live in poverty according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
We will be organizing a music benefit to raise awareness regarding all the issues facing our vets, and to raise revenue to help house, feed, and provide valuable additional resources for them.
Stay tuned for details.
Nearly 30% of the homeless population are homeless...more than twice the national average.
What is often referred to as P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) we call simply brokeness. The ravages of war can leave an individual with such depths of pain that a complete collapse of the spirit is often the byproduct. Nearly 30% of all vets who pass through the VA are treated for the symptoms of PTSD. It is highly likely that there are many others who go uncounted because they do not seek treatment, or are too incapacitated by their suffering to even know how to get help.
Over 70% of returning vets have suffered injuries during service that limit their capacity to perform basic daily functions.
Despite their dedicated service and sacrifices made for their country, returning vets experience unemployment at nearly double the national average, and most live at or near the poverty line.
On Sunday May 18th, starting at 4pm, mim.fm will present Vet Visions and Voices: An Art and Music Benefit, at Tortuga Gallery in Albuquerque. Some of New Mexico's top bands will be on hand, including Cali Shaw, Throw the Temple, Sunlight, and as a special treat Le Chat Lunatique will be performing songs from their anticipated new album.
The walls of the gallery will be lined with some of the finest local art by and about Vets, in a variety of media and styles, including Paula Manning-Lews, Richard Martin, Maggie Micole, Denise Weaver Ross, Scott Palmer and Peter Rogers.
The intent of this show is to give voice to the Veteran community and to facilitate connection and healing through personal expression and the sharing of information about local resources.
We are also launching a Facebook page intended as an ongoing resource for vets to upload art and music, and to connect with and support each other. The page can be found at facebook.com/vetvisions.nm.
Proceeds will benefit the participating artists and Henderson House, a shelter for Women Vets and their children.
Suggested admission: $10
Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.